tv Operation Kony Deutsche Welle March 25, 2020 7:15pm-8:01pm CET
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social networks never forget. so i searched in my personal archives. 2012. march. had i liked or shared the most viral video in history 100000000 views in just 6 days. and i name is jason russell and this is my son. it was the story of a young american director jason russell who hoped his 30 minute video would facilitate the capture of a new tory is war criminal in central africa. joseph coney. this. the guy just cody. the bad.
for 26 years has been kidnapping children into his rebel group. turning the girls into sex slaves. the video was meant to shock to outrage people's faces. to bring joseph kony to justice russell even set up a private n.g.o.s called invisible children. internet campaign kone 2012 was a runaway success. among those who circulated the video
for a few of my friends. until recently i had forgotten all about the video and about joseph koni himself. then 2 journalists from our team entrusted me with this hard drive with footage shot in africa in 2014. the starting point for my investigation. i set out in pursuit of the most infamous war criminal on social networks and of invisible children begin g.-o. that want to stop them my 1st port of call was good in northern uganda joseph coney
is native region. i took the same roads that the directors of coney 2012 took and met the same people. former child soldiers of the n.r.a. the brutal rebel group headed by joseph kony. from the late 1980 s. the warlord raided villages here to replenish his ranks with new recruits. made was. traded. in the money that's when they came to. i would definitely name. and the 2nd night i was given some simple training for the music gun and i think that. and i realized that when i make it or not i don't like it i don't know so i have to tough and i said.
the 3 filmmakers from invisible children turned up here in gulu in 2003. i was able to track down the woman who served as their guide at the time. and then i want to play a lot of charity organizations and i went to the u.s. to talk about the war you know that in uganda and i started telling how i was a full much i was sold and then how many kids still being abducted here and that is where i received a lot of people. well they're ignorant about the war and when the boys so i always called them the boys i'm sorry but when the filmmaker was so distillery. they contacted me and definitely i would see this story of how they wanted to talk aboard the war. and they said wait a minute you want to talk about war there's
a wall then uganda. but because that one that i used to. i drove with them to the north. there was a lot of. your sort of russian but we've been. those were defeated. by one point being with children. and that's how everything started. what they did they made a lot of small videos about. some of the victims of the war. and of course the final the 12 documented was going to 12. bringing it out in top 10 minutes. a war that had lasted for more than. many people even looked like a joke. since then the
ninety's kids have grown up and they're in geo is now based in washington like all successful lobbyist. like because it's just good just because if it's a just a year before i could talk to the president of invisible children you can let me know if my hair will be a problem at any point and i need to know that. there was an endless back and forth of negotiations in 2014 my colleagues request for an interview was declined it took dozens of. emails and months of waiting before i got the green light. to new remember what its was the objective of the greens as well as the deal in part 6100000000 people have now was the main objective of the campaign was to push the us government to remain committed to implementing its counter eller
a strategy and then the deployment of the advisors was an outcome of that strategy ready for the videos explicit aim was to provoke the us into sending troops after coni. train track him in the fast jungle in order to find him the us government has to deploy them that's where the american advisors come in not for self defense but because it was right. politically speaking it was hugely successful. hugely successful not really 2 years before coney 2012 became a global internet sensation invisible children was already lobbying in the oval office as this photo from 2010 clearly shows. there is a small number of u.s. forces i ordered the small number of american advisors to help you got and its
neighbors pursue the l.r. the removal of joseph coney from the battlefield sincerely. it's just a small step from garnering likes to dispatching troops. in the 21st century a video can start a war. but that's the american helicopter visibility or says the videos on my hard drive documented the u.s. operation it featured some members of the 100 strong special forces team deployed by obama. may we have just a question with you because we just wanted to understand no no photos you go on camera or are there going i don't know. somewhat surprisingly and invisible children can can be seen on the footage. surprising because my colleagues shot the
material in 2014 in the eastern central african republic by then it had been almost a decade since joseph coney's militia had abandoned their base in uganda. the remnants were holed up somewhere in a vast neighboring area between the democratic republic of congo south sudan and the central african republic. here in obo hundreds of kilometers east of the war torn capital bangui is where the americans claimed that coney and his troops were hiding. on the ground my colleagues realized that not only was invisible children behind the deployment of u.s. army advisers the american n.-g. o. was also hosting military meetings. specifically for the u.s. special forces directing operations in the hunt for kone and their allies the
ugandans who are carrying out their orders now we can go to the. morgue. the general carrying way colonel the only only commander of the us forces that were. in regional task force in the el rey bringing the ellery. they were here armitage today and you know there's time to follow. i suspect a few weeks for us. things to. the bush is still in the bush right but his organization is coming out of the bush it's as you know this is a gigantic area here and to find one person that does not want to be found is very difficult. fast forward 4 years by now the u.s.
operation was over the army advisers had returned home having failed to capture kone. but why end a manhunt when the target is still at large. had the most powerful army in the world been looking in the wrong place. or did the mission have other objectives. my family remained mostly in or got. the father was a prime minister. until that government it so was overthrown by the. back you. up to 6 years of intervention right they didn't get. right where they even looking for him of course not they were not looking for corn and in fact it's hard to say it's even a success or failure since i believe 100 percent that was never the objective
anyway. this operation was cost more than $700000000.00 is that possible it only makes sense if that money was going to finance another i genda. who are the soldiers we filmed in 2014. what was the true nature of their mission. they were there under the banner of the pentagon's africa command africa. but it's not only a military command. according to this recently declassified internal document afrikan comprises both military personnel and civilians protecting u.s. interests in africa is one of its goals. which interests diplomatic and military but also economic financial as well as intelligence above all africa
operates in the gray zone between traditional war and peace. what. africa this meant to intervene in that humanitarian rule so that is the official narrative. but the more geo political narrative is that the u.s. would be able to start sneaking in u.s. forces through uganda and then spread it into the region to counter other interest in africa. in 2014 the people of oboe rarely saw u.s. army rangers on patrol. what they did see though was their aircraft their helicopters and their drones.
back to grey haven't. really had a fling out. there. during. their fear. without the excuse of hunting down a war criminal the u.s. military would never have been allowed to conduct an airborne operation over such an unstable strategic area. thanks to operation. tony it was able to map the area and install g.p.s. beacons. or in military terms gather intelligence. but central africa is not just a region of military interest. it's also rich in gold and diamond reserves along
with businessmen ready to exploit them. this man for example on the left. he appears in footage shot in 2014 at a security meeting in the oval. that day he was handed what was clearly a confidential map. he refused our requests to film it and with good reason. don't have a map was addressed to the colonel of the american armed forces. said mark this is mark pearson. apparently he's a cultural adviser. but what would a cultural advisor be doing in obo. and why entrust a cultural advisor with an american military map.
4 years later i looked into who mark pearson really was. before following the american military into the area he was employed by jim diamond a multinational diamond operation. it boasts turnover of some 300000000 euros with mines and prospecting projects all over africa including one in the central african republic. but the only area of diamond exploration officially declared by the company is in the west of the central african republic one and a half 1000 kilometers away from mobile on the other side of the country. so what was one of jem diamonds former employees doing here. in a region that harbors a wealth of gold and diamond process. in kampala the ugandan capital i needed to find out more about who was really running the country. you know where we must have any power in a coup in 1906 to consolidate his grip on power he purge the country of many rebel
groups. joseph coney's however was spared. along with the creation of the state. only a member of the opposition would talk to me about this angle of the story. when that specific cut open my damn self on i come from to do so lyndon davis who was a clear shot of the government. and that will. be as that i had to stated with those photos well when i was there with trained. there this affected my bias that never came in and wanted to create we're going to see that if you use it you don't do it up in bad faith deny them it it didn't have that was it in about it it out for themselves.
without those of course. the ugandan administration would not be able to make justification but it needs more militarist systems from the united states it means in these more weapons and it needs more financial resources and diplomatic partnership with the united states how would you be able to make that narrative without the presence of course of course. that brings us to the least known and least documented part of the story. on the pretext of driving out just of kone the ugandan army committed horrific atrocities in. site its own country. between 19862004 most event is army engaged in a bloody crackdown in northern uganda. officially it was hunting down the l r a. n officially it was crushing resistance to his move from the arch only people
in the ethnic group to which joseph kony belonged and which had dominated the previous government. of my village a young man called richard was complaining a lot and we took him behind one army uniform on him and they came back and said this one of the rebel want to show you today that this i would be very low so they take in ladies or those they don't because on battery and they shut him. up for 73 mothers it. toward. and it told to shut up do anything to do this and. this very incident was detailed in 1991 amnesty international report. we haven't a single incident where the u.p.d. i was accused of intentional image and mass killing people
are you familiar with the 2005 human rights watch report about this conflict. human has no human rights watch. no you know. because in their 2005 report which is the most exhaustive they refer to torture. rape. full killings. on both sides on the r. aside and also on your beauty of sites so it's not in the case of impossible to have our own human rights commission report but you do agree for instance some 2005 report by human rights watch to the world's a pretty strong willing full killing rape torture of this is not lights where she went to. some of them. some of
them are not verified yet we have cases over my dead. mother over groups of people. and intuitional. why was the united states desperate to support the ugandan regime that. despite its abuses despite the authoritarian rule of museveni president for more than 3 decades was it because the agent ugandan autocrat was providing a few services to his american godfather. it's true that that may have gone on president be with him so that for too long. as this big you learn not to say so much. when you were known to have the sense of my that american officials can progress in to support the president of troops abroad. if you need somebody to be involved to help in fighting. terrorism and
a place like somalia which is celtic and it was so many is willing to do that sending ugandan soldiers the. i think that's a very easy decision for us to make regardless of anything else that was somebody does you know we've been. and can weigh in on me when too late i quoted a couple of. the show the way they stayed in total bro did i mean it comes get the black and i didn't that well maybe it's the been about the how but it could double that time what the blink since the incident so you and i because. america made it so when we screwed it. he has become one so.
none of this was mentioned in the kone 2012 video. not a word about the ugandan regime about president museveni 4 about the war crimes committed by his army. why not. and what exactly was invisible children's role. when they say they're helping the widows or orphans or so on what do they really do and. those are the sorts of questions that always are occur in my mind. i think in across from probably about 2 years before their big viral video and. i found their website and look at them and read what they said they were doing. ok
so something about it felt very off to me. their level of access to the region of northern uganda is around 2005 northern uganda was completely sealed off by the ugandan army the only people who got in especially people with camera gear sophisticated camera gear such people did not get into northern uganda without the express permission of the ugandan government jason russell and his team they were in there because the ugandan government want them to be there so why. the small in geo was purportedly working to save orphans when in fact it was promoting one of the most corrupt regimes in africa. this is a radio h.q. where we coordinate all the security information for the southeast of the central african republic. newsroom.
every day we have a security round in the morning and another in the afternoon the afternoon. in concrete terms it was nothing more than a network of informants scattered through dozens of villages and they were responsible for reporting the movements of active armed rebels without really knowing whether there were any small isolated l r a groups among them or not was this method that was more information. because the radios were all over the community. and then that information. this is so it was full on total. in the. most of the information would come to the invisible radio network.
that mr sawyer and i knew about it was how forceful the info. but i don't know how it would have been between a nonprofit seeding information to the military so we were kind of like. at the end of it's they look to us if we were the voice of the military. the n.r.a. why children if you're feeding the military before them and go on get them to the children. at the door your god and she told me she fell through an uncomfortable with sharing information with a new trick. that's very interesting i was not in a position of leadership that i am now at the time when julie was working with invisible hand in that role but my understanding was that that was not her sentiment previously so i. only recently i owe.
my understanding is that that was not a sentiment that she held. at the time that these programs are being developed the concept of neutrality with the l r a is very different than in the context of a civil conflict or intercommunal conflict and so in that context supporting essentially law enforcement in the protection of civilians we felt it was very. except that in the code of ethics for n.g.o.s recognized by the un neutrality is non-negotiable in fact a non-governmental organization should always be independent of governments enormous. invisible children however has always collaborated with the ugandan army and regime. so just like in february 2009 at the time the most of any government claimed there was a conspiracy afoot to overthrow it. patrick koma cash who had worked for invisible children in its early days was accused of being part of the plot. i was having to.
meet for me. i was supposed to die that. i have been. never seen in my life before. and. i remember one day said i was. prisoners who were down there. by the way this guy from. patrick was eventually cleared of all charges but who denounced him the answer was hidden in a secret diplomatic note written by the us ambassador himself into. 1009 later published on the wiki leaks web site. with years of number 4 they say they foiled a plot against the ugandan government and we're looking for someone. on the. comic i should. go over to you because they say he was then arrested thanks to
a tip off from invisible children the army even the american ambassador implies that the organization does the leg work for ugandan forces. by the n.r.a. that is and i was not working with children i taught. and i didn't know what ip but this is a confession from that i quote somebody there. was so much in the center of these allegations investigation admitting that they got people from invisible children. is nice but i think the market doesn't ring a bell if you know him. no no no i i i do know who he is i don't i can't have any act of him and i that's if i heard his name it might have been back in 2007 or something very early do you know what happens or. no i don't say that it is been arrested because invisible children that it's i gave both to the ugandan security
forces i have no information about that. how do you feel about doubts about that it was a push along with it would be able to to do so. well i have i have no way of knowing if that's true at all i sorry it is i'm in love met the guy there is substantial evidence that's actually invisible children have that's i'm david supposed to be your i'm not a tree in the arrested him and the guy was tortured for 3 miles and then he was cleared because he didn't do anything how would you feel about this is that. i i have no information about that situation at all i obviously anyone who acts who would experience something horrible like that is it is unacceptable i have
no information on that situation. another thing that bothered me about the coney 2012 video was the evangelical rather messianic tone adopted by jason russell. the founder of invisible children seems to regard himself as something of a pastor. his speeches are sermons. more you know and no one i'm here to tell you who are not. here's the copy that was put out by the truth wins out the they were to organization i was working. on for this audio i found of tears in russell at the gathering in 2000. but yeah the ring is the biggest community of christian fundamentalists philanthropists in the united states so here are his.
own minute and so with this movie we are able to be the trojan horse in a sense going into it about say guess what life's about our sins and stop. us. by. scott it's his start and that's really what this has been all. well i was surprised that he would use the word georgian horse even at. a conference such as out of a joke or christian donors i was surprised that he went that far to it minute that is is that they visible children was. perpetrating some some deceit. as it's. true. so i. can't comment on what jason might have not found but i can't comment on we are in no way
a religiously affiliated organization. all of this was funded by an army of young people who put their money toward their belief in the value of all human life they gave a few dollars a month of what little they have. they say their funding comes from young people who give a few dozen homes. as invisible children became better and better known they were able to get small donations by by presenting themselves as more or less a secular. non-profit which was doing great things in africa but that's not where they started they they started with money from the. giant fundamentalist of unshackled philanthropies that gave them seed money. this is the 1st year there are foreign languages of this board is the list of those that's really. a lot of
churches yellow churches a lot of ministries so here is the big one the prohibition foundation which is a subsidiary of the national christian foundation and so this form lists. $350000.00 and i think they're one of the biggest grants they got and 2007 and the national christian foundation it's a fundamentalist christian philanthropy they say in their statement of belief that the bible is the infallible inerrant word of god and that we're about essentially extending the kingdom promoting the kingdom our kind of the christian kingdom throughout the world and. we are. non-profit organization that's completely secular and that folks not at the trustees prevention into neuroscience programming so that's not that's not the. high authority is a sure sign that it will go to invisible children websites you know to see what they're publishing know in terms of
a that's literally you know they'll be interesting because i haven't looked at it. i think it's probably still with this. they're getting a half $1000000.00 from someone no name but. yeah i mean. when you when you go to do some daughters in your. we can say that we can see that there is a amounts of money for instance house a $1000000.00 from someone but we don't know we don't know who it is we came up with one you know. i could send them because yeah because it's so interesting. to google up a few days after the interview but the ship the invisible children press officer who cut in during the interview sent me this clarification. it guarantees that donations are from private foundations with no religious affiliations will use. it is going to reply that i would like to believe there is no religious connection for
me but need to check for myself. could i have the names since then i've had no word from invisible children. but it doesn't end there the involvement of another more powerful entity in uganda raises the question who was really behind kone 2012. on the author of 2 books about an american fundamentalist organization with deep involvement in uganda. the family or the fellowship as it's known is the oldest and arguably the most influential christian conservative political organization in the united states.
the organization the furze and terry very low profile the more invisible you can make your organization the longtime leader and on the same the more influence it will have he liked to refer to it as the christian mafia. located close to congress this unremarkable red brick building belongs to the fellowship. its members meet here in private to talk about jesus and business. but it won't open its doors to outsiders. its membership was not for the masses they weren't doing any big revivals it was for congressmen business leaders government leaders and they play a major part and facilitating u.s. relationships with authoritarian figures around the world that's what they admire this they when they look at christ they don't see
a model of love or compassion primarily they see strength. could there then be a more id. we're screwed for the fellowship than the autocrats you're wary most of any. for a terry and vehemently homophobic and evangelical. the family looks at my 70 as their key man as they put it in uganda but also as their one of the key men in africa and one of the key men globally saying come to us pray with us. do business with us and they really take credit for forging that relationship at the beginning and turning the 70 into the american spirit influence where he has remained as powerful regional proxy ever since. in washington i was particularly interested in one member of the fellowship. a senator
named jim inhofe known for his interest in african affairs. on. the bottom on honor and you know probably my it's what you might think you fight. in hoff was one of the stars of the coney 2012 video. with all the problems that are out there no one is more severe than one in the middle ages and takes the lives of the little kids. to sit on a this senator jim inhofe from oklahoma must be pretty close to the ngo because in one of the other videos we have we see him taking part in one of the n.g.o.s protests. there he is going to his interest in uganda goes back many years. in this press release from 2006 he was already raising the alarm about what he called northern uganda as terrorist group the l r a. when i go he says i'm doing my jesus thing when he goes and meets with foreign leaders he says i'm a u.s. senator i'm the conduit to u.s.
power and money and if you want to get there you go to me and you go to jesus. the senator will not answer our questions what's clear is that for decades a radical fellowship has been pulling strings behind the scenes to get uganda to advance u.s. interests. me 2012 was just part of a much more complex story. incidentally what happened right after the video's viral success. once its makers collected $17000000.00 in donations. that. the coin friends of 12 when i was c.e.o. decided that there was no funding coming in i mean made the decision to close the invisible children in uganda.
the moral of this story. is that there isn't one. in 2017 the u.s. government's development agency usaid awarded $24000000.00 in grants to invisible children to fund a 5 year mission in the democratic republic of congo. today invisible children gets most of its funding from the us government. to me a founder member of the invisible today and i'm the one who led to them to get this story i felt. that this is our story that went out there and it was mean managed by someone else that is why i chose to continue with it here.
is a master of the art of confrontation this is wrong a veteran of the whole combat doesn't mean you're going to see hearts live the undisputed champion of tough political talk trying to frighten people there's a fight everybody understands it is as you enter the conflict zone and joining to sebastian says he holds the powerful to account this is a big failure whichever way you like to spin a conflict zone. through the mist of the.
this is g w news weibo from berlin tonight money as medicine german lawmakers approved an unprecedented economic aid plan to shield the country's economy from the coronavirus pandemic the legislation aimed at supporting health care and propping up businesses is also a paradigm shift for germany rolling back in storage restrictions on taking out new debt also coming up on the streets of india's capital delhi deserted as the country's 1300000000 people begin a 3.